Lake County Schools…..analysis from Cupp Reports

updated: 11/3/18 “Personnel Data”
updated: 11/4/18 “Property Tax Value and Tax Data” / “Local Tax Effort” / “Expenditure Per Pupil Data”
updated: 11/6/18 “Revenue Per Pupil Data” / “District Financial Status”

We have been asked about some details regarding students in  Lake County schools, so we thought we would start reviewing the Cupp Reports produced by the State of Ohio.  The Cupp Reports provide a great deal of information about all of the 607 school districts in the State of Ohio.  There are 7 different sections of data provided:

  1. Demographic Data
  2. Personnel Data
  3. Property Valuation and Tax Data
  4. Local Tax Effort Data
  5. Expenditure Data
  6. Revenue By Source
  7. District Finance Status

We will attempt to analyze the Lake County data for each section and compare it to the totals for all 607 school districts in the State of Ohio.

For those that want to check my work, here is the link to the State of Ohio website that provides the raw data.  You will need Excel to open up the second link.


Demographic Data:

Student Enrollment by Ethnicity

Here is a schedule of the Disadvantaged Students, Students with Limited English Proficiency, and Students with Disability:

Student Enrollment DED

Here are the definitions of Disadvantaged Students:

Definition of DED


Updated: 11/3/18 3:40 pm

Personnel Data:

Here is the Lake County personnel data by school district compared to the average of all 607 school districts.  Sometimes when I look at averages, I think of the old joke, “One foot can be resting in a fire, and the other in a bucket of ice water – but on average I feel fine”.  The overall State averages could be lower because of the rural school districts that I was told pay less.  However, the salary does not include employee benefits or pensions. The total number of administrators appear to be tied to the total number of students.  The unfunded mandates from the the Federal Department of Education is increasing the number of administrator and driving up education costs.

Lake County Personnel Data

Personnel Data Definitions


Updated 11/3/18 6:29 pm

Property Tax Value and Tax Data:

Here are numbers that show the wealth of the various Lake County school districts compared to all other school districts in Ohio.

Property Tax Value and Tax DAta

Here are the definitions of the various categories on the schedule:

Property valuation and tax data

Local Tax Effort Data:

Here are numbers detailing the millage rates for each class and each Lake County district:

Remember Class 1 refers to residential, and agricultural land, while Class 2 is commercial and business property.
The inside millage is the State mandated property tax that you do not get to vote on.  The maximum is 10 mills, and most of Lake County is at 8.9 mills.
The inside millage reported on the schedule is the portion of the 10 mills allocate for schools. In theory, any political sub-division has access to the remain 1.1 mills [10.0 – 8.9]
but the Lake County commissioners have a tight grip on the 1.1 mills remaining in the inside millage.  No one gets it without their stamp of approval.

Did you know that a school district can request an income tax from the voters?  Of the 607 school districts in the State of Ohio, 194 have a school income tax.  The number show
that in those school districts the average annual income tax per student is $1,445.15.

Local Tax Effort Data 1

Here are the definitions for Local Tax Effort Data:

Local Effort Data Definitions


Expenditure Per Pupil Data:

We have summarized the expenditures per pupil for five different categories: Administrative / Building Operations / Instructional / Pupil Support / Staff Support

We then multiplied the Average Daily Membership [read: number of students] by the average expenditure per pupil to arrive at the estimated total annual expenditure for each category.

Lake County schools spent approximately $364 million educating approximately 3,423 students, or an average spend per pupil of $11,951 per pupil. Madison had the lowest per pupil spend with $9,075.42.

In reality, the overall numbers look in line with the average spend per pupil for the balance of the State of Ohio school districts.  Total average spend per pupil for all Lake County schools was $11,951.80 versus $11,204.55 for the State average.  That is a $747.25 (6.7%) increase.  However, the citizens in Wickliffe and Perry may want to start questioning their school boards and ask why are they spend more per pupil than the rest of the county.

Wickliffe residents should question their administrative, instructional, pupil support, and staff support expenditures since they are out of line with the rest of the county.  Perhaps the low enrollment numbers still require a fixed number of administrative and support personnel.  However, I would be asking questions.

Perry is spending $3,203.26 per pupil on their building operations.  It appears that their amazing campus is expensive to operate.

Expenditure Per Pupil Data


Expenditure Definitions 1


Revenue Per Pupil Data:

The State provided the per pupil revenue provided by the state, local taxpayers through property taxes, and the federal government.  We added a schedule that multiples the average number of students x the average revenue per pupil to give an approximate amount of revenue received by each district from each source.

You should take note of the “District Formula Funding Per Pupil”.  This is a result of the complex formula (see definitions for all the factors that are considered) developed by the State in order to fairly and equitably redistribute the wealth collected by the state.  Fairport, Painesville, and Madison received far in excess of the state and district averages.  Kirtland residents may not realize that they are getting less than $600 per pupil from the State coffers.  They will need to realize that they are paying 76.1% of their school funding while the average for Lake County is 51.4% and 38.2% for the State of Ohio.  Their Superintendent, Bill Wade, has a very difficult job of providing a quality education and keeping property taxes low.  Unfortunately, only the most financially secure seniors are going to be able to live in Kirtland, since most will be priced out of their homes with the ever increasing needs of their public school, and the “unquenchable thirst” for more  property taxes from the other Lake County political sub-divisions. [read: Lakeland Community College]

Residents of Wickliffe may want to start looking at their school financing in more detail.  Wickliffe has the dubious distinction of collecting the most ($10,548.69) per pupil from property taxes.

One other category listed is the District Formula Funding.  It is trying to associate the amount of money returned to the schools in relationship to the money the school district has chipped in to the state’s general fund.  The lowest number is Kirtland with 5.6% – meaning not much of what their residents pay into the state is returning to the school district.  The state views Kirtland as a community of great wealth, and they can afford to pay for their children’s education.  On the other hand, Painesville’s % is 586.3% – meaning that they are the biggest beneficiaries of the government largess.  Residents of Fairport Harbor, Madison and Painesville all benefit from the state funding formula.

Revenue by Source Data

Revenue by Source Data Definitions


District Financial Status:

The last category is a listing of percentages expressing certain categories as % of total operating expenditures.

Salaries / Fringe Benefits / Purchased Services / Supplies and Materials / Other Expenses –

We added another column and added the salaries and fringe benefits to determine the overall impact of personnel costs.  The average for Lake County is 76.6% with Kirtland and Mentor and Perry in excess of 80%.  There is one statistic that needs further review, and that is the Wickliffe 68.2% for total wages and fringe benefits.  If they are collecting the most per pupil in property taxes ($10,548.69), but “only” pay 68.2% in salaries and fringe benefits where is the money being spent?  New facilities?

District Finance Status

District Financial Status Definitions


Hopefully, you will find this post to be beneficial.  We have tried to be clear and concise, but if you have questions, please send an email to us.

Categories: Education

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